that time I decided to chase my dreams

I am the poster child for Type-A personality. I am organized to a tee. I need to be the leader, because, by default, I'm the only person who can do things the best way. (I'm sure you can do EVERYTHING better than me, but my brain has tricked me into thinking that). I am always looking for ways to plan my life. And while it hasn't exactly gone according to plan, I always have a general idea of how things will work out.

Go to college. Get a job. Get married. Have some kids. Die. Or something like that. I'm sure at some point in there I might have turned into an adult, but I still feel 19. So I DID go to college. I DID get a job. But no husband. And definitely no kids, and now I'm not sure I even want any of those.

I'll be 29 next month. And while that's cause for crisis all on its own, this year HAS NOT gone according to plan. I quit my full-time job in March. One that provided security, a good salary that gave me lots of extra money. But I was unhappy. VERY unhappy. And no amount of good job or lots of money could change that. I was unhappy, you see, because ALL I WANT TO DO IS WRITE.

The first plan was to move to New York City. I visited in March and though I was already in love with the city, I fell even more in love. Alas, that whole quitting job things left me with, like, no money, and as I'm sure you're all aware, New York City is très expensive. And not like, LIFE expensive, like GRANDIOSE expensive.

So I went to my parents' house for a couple months to try and formulate a plan. But I got there and instead of really making a plan, I wrote another book. It's called Say Anything. And while, at the time, it was first book out of four that I'd written that I had no confidence in, I've had the most positive feedback on it.

And after a couple months, I moved down to my sister's house in Charlotte. And for three months, I tried to make more life plans. I found a part time job that I liked well enough. It gave me time to write. A LOT of time to write. But I was living WITH MY SISTER. And her husband. And their two small kids. Who were noisy and didn't like to leave me alone.

But about three weeks ago I peeked into my bank account and I had one of those cartoon moments of eyes popping out of my head, jaw dropping to the floor. Here's the realization I came to: I HAD NO MONEY. And I needed to move out of my sister's house. But that requires rent money. AND I HAD NONE OF THAT.

So, after I spent a night drinking my sorrows away, I tucked my tail between my legs and called my parents, and very meekly asked if I could move into their basement. And like all good parents, they said "of course." My dad flew down to Charlotte, helped me pack my stuff in a truck, and moved me to Michigan.

So moving back in with my parents has LITERALLY been the hardest thing I've EVER done. I'm incredibly independent. My freshman year of college I left and waved goodbye, knowing I'd never return to my parents' house for more than school breaks. But ten years after leaving, I'm back. And I'm really not happy about it. Because I WANT to be living on my own. I WANT to be able to afford working part time and writing in all my spare time. But here's the truth: I CAN'T DO THAT.

But it's not so bad. Two years ago, probably even one year ago, I would NEVER have been able to do this. Never quit my job to move back with my parents. BUT I'm following a dream. And I've had more people tell me this year how much they admire me for taking the most giant leap of faith to follow my dreams.

The thing about chasing dreams is, IT'S REALLY HARD. But earlier this year, I came to the realization that if I don't do this now, I WILL regret it the REST of my life.

So I get to spend a lot of my time writing, while trying to find a job to pay at least my bills (if nothing else). I rely on Twitter for nearly ALL my social interactions right now, as I have basically NO friends in Michigan. And I live in my parents' basement.

I'm still querying. Still hoping one of those queries pans out. Because I put a lot of faith in the biggest change of my life. But despite how hard this has all been on me emotionally, I'm in a good place. I'm chasing my dreams.

I just hope I catch one soon.


  1. I am one of those people who admire you for taking such a huge leap and chasing your dreams. I hope it works out very, very soon. I'm rooting for you!

  2. Your post really resonated with me. I've just graduated from university, and had to choose between doing a Masters (which I can't afford) or getting a job. But all I really want to do is write. I've done some work placements in publishing - the only industry I can see myself working in - but that involved temporarily moving to London, which drained the little money I had. So I'm now living at home again, after three years of independence. There are no jobs in my home city that have any relevance to what I want to do, and Twitter has become my social life as my friends from university are scattered all over the UK! So I can totally sympathise. I'm hoping to earn a living from writing someday, even if it takes years, but I know I wouldn't be happy doing anything else. Being caged in a 9-5 working routine drove me mad. It's hard watching everyone else I know starting careers and living independently, but I know too many people who've pushed their dreams aside in favour of a stable career - it's better to do what makes you happy! I really admire your decision and I hope you achieve your dreams. :)

  3. I admire you so much. I know it took a lot of courage to share that. Keep pressing on and I know something good will happen:)

  4. Sending you hugs of happiness because this is a wonderful step and you're doing it for YOU and that's the best reason in the world. Why not do what you love if it is possible to do, right? So don't see this (or allow anyone else to make it seem) as though you're taking steps backward; see it as one or two steps UP toward reaching the top: your ultimate goal. Yay for you. :)

  5. I really admire you for following your dream. It's not an easy road! I'll be 30 in a few months, and my life is definitely not how I thought it would be. Which is actually a really good thing, because my plan would have been a lot more boring! I took the safe, grad school, a few years in the field. I'm only now getting back to my writing. I love how you took charge of your life, and how, despite setbacks, you are able to find the positives and maintain your hope and optimism. Admirable. Enjoy the extra time you have now to write, and remember, we're still young ;)

  6. It takes so much courage to take such a leap of faith, I'm officially inspired ;)
    Best of luck, I know you will achieve your dreams!!!

  7. Proud of you for taking that big leap! It's this kind of motivation that will bring you success. YOU CAN DO IT!!

  8. It's hard when your brand of success looks like someone else's failure. I hear that all the time from people who should know better than to be so cruel and rude. Ignore those haters! Best of luck to you!


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